On April 10th, 1815, Indonesia’s Mount Tambora erupted. Th e resulting build-up of ash in the stratosphere altered weather pat-terns and led, in 1816, to a year without summer. Instead, there were June snowstorms, food shortages, epidemics, inventions, and the proliferation of new cults and religious revivals.
Hauntingly meaningful in today’s climate crisis, Lebowitz’s lyric essay charts the events and eff ects of that apocalyptic year. Weaving together history, mythology, and memoir, The Year of No Summer ruminates on weather, war, and our search for God and meaning in times of disaster.
Rachel Lebowitz, the author of Hannus (Pedlar Press, 2006), was shortlisted for the 2007 Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize (BC Book Prize) and the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction. She is also the author of Cottonopolis (Pedlar Press, 2013) and the co-author, with Zachariah Wells, of the children’s picture book Anything But Hank! (Biblioasis, 2008, illustrated by Eric Orchard). She lives in Halifax, where she coordinates adult tutoring programs at her neighbourhood library.